Duluth library seeks public input ahead of redesign project

City of Duluth addresses library safety concerns after employee assaults
City of Duluth addresses library safety concerns after employee assaults(KBJR/CBS 3)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 7:17 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Duluth Public Library wants the community’s input ahead of its upcoming redesign project.

On Tuesday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., the public can visit the Harrison Community Center in West Duluth to share their thoughts on what they want to see at the library’s new space.

“We’re always going to have books, but that’s only part of what we offer these days, really the library and the Workforce Center is about connecting people with resources and connecting people with each other,” Carla Powers, the Library Manager of the Duluth Public Library, said.

The redesign came to fruition father the Duluth City Council approved $409,000 in February using coronavirus funds, federal dollars and bonding money.

RELATED: City Council lays groundwork for Downtown Duluth Public Library redesign

Powers said the planning stage is in its infancy at this point.

“We are in the very initial phase, so we are a long ways from knowing what a potential redesign will look like,” she said.

With the help of the Duluth Workforce Center, the library will hopefully have more meeting spaces.

“We did a strategic plan recently and we heard a lot about meeting spaces, it sounds like folks in the community really want rooms of various sizes that they can use for meetings, tutoring sessions or even telehealth appointments,” Powers said.

Tuesday’s meeting comes after a recent report showed security concerns at the Downtown branch.

RELATED: Duluth Public Library addresses safety concerns after security assessment

Within the report, there were concerns about violence, drug use, and more inside and outside the downtown location.

Powers said while the report is important, it is about their current version of the library.

“We hope that a new building will be more welcoming and safe for everyone, there are things that we can design into it that will make it function better than our existing building, but this project isn’t just about safety, it’s about all aspects of our services,” she said.

Library leaders hope to also hold pop-up meetings at events and festivals throughout the year to get input.

They also sent out a survey for the community to share their comments about what they want to see in the redesign.

That survey can be found here.

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